Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield, SK11 9DL – Visit Now
The First Light Pavilion, a huge new addition to Jodrell Bank, is set to turn the already-impressive site into a must-see national heritage destination, fitting for a world leader in the history of astronomy.
A Unesco World Heritage Site, Jodrell Bank is home to the iconic Lovell Telescope, the largest the world had ever seen when it was completed in 1957. It’s still the third biggest telescope of its kind today and continues to search the stars, helping humanity pick away at the mysteries of our universe.
As well as being a site of vital scientific research – and a home to the awesome Bluedot Festival – the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is a nationally significant visitor attraction, inspiring people of all ages to want to learn more about radio astronomy – something which revolutionised our understanding of the universe. And thanks to the all-new First Light Pavilion, more people than ever will be flocking to Jodrell Bank to do just that.
The transformative First Light Project will unlock the potential of Jodrell Bank’s unique and inspiring history, creating a new must-see national heritage destination and offering spectacular new visitor facilities that cater to all ages.
The centrepiece of the project will be the First Light Pavilion, a stunning new building constructed in the gardens of Jodrell Bank. The main structure of the pavilion, which was designed by the internationally-acclaimed architects HASSELL Studio, is a concrete dome – the largest in Europe – which has been buried and seeded to appear as a hill in the arboretum of the observatory. Inside is a new gallery dedicated to telling the story of Jodrell Bank, an immersive projection space and auditorium, and an education hub and cafe.
The gallery will include displays, objects and artefacts from the site’s rich history and will incorporate the fabric of the original 1957 surface of the Lovell Telescope. Archive footage and large-scale projections will animate the exhibition and bring the past to life. A beautiful new 130 seat auditorium will also feature, serving as a unique new venue for events, evening lectures, live link-ups, planetarium shows and workshops.
Due to open in May 2022, we can’t wait to see with our own eyes what this new chapter of Jodrell Bank looks like.